1. We, the Leaders of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) met for the Fourth BIMP-EAGA Summit in Singapore on 19 November 2007. We discussed on how to intensify cooperation among the BIMP-EAGA member countries in the areas of trade facilitation, transport, tourism, environment, and in the social and cultural areas. We reiterated the importance of subregional economic cooperation in BIMP-EAGA as a strategy for complementing ASEAN initiatives to achieve the ASEAN Community by 2015. We were encouraged by the momentum gained in the implementation of cooperation initiatives, but we also recognized that BIMP-EAGA continues to be faced with formidable challenges. We agreed to continue enhancing our cooperation in the development of BIMP-EAGA
2. We are pleased to note the steady progress of implementation of the BIMP-EAGA Roadmap to Development 2006 – 2010. We supported the decision by the BIMPEAGA Ministers to conduct a comprehensive Mid-Term Review in 2008 of the BIMPEAGA Roadmap to ensure that the measures and projects being implemented are relevant. We encouraged all BIMP-EAGA stakeholders especially the private sector and the local governments to actively participate in this review and take this opportunity to more clearly identify doable programs and projects that can generate immediate and direct impact on increasing trade, tourism and investment in the region.
3. We commended the Transport Ministers on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cross-Border Movement of Commercial Buses and Coaches and the MoU on Establishing and Promoting Efficient and Integrated Sea Linkages at the sidelines of the 13th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Singapore on 2 November 2007. We expressed confidence that these transport initiatives will promote the rapid development of a multimodal transport system in EAGA and facilitate the flow of goods, services, investment and people across borders in the subregion. We direct our Transport Ministers to expedite the effective implementation of the transport agreements. We also urged them to undertake specific measures to pilot-test the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit in BIMP-EAGA by 2008.
4. We supported the Transport Ministers decision to designate additional airports with full fifth freedom traffic rights under the MOU on Expansion of Air Linkages, namely: (i) Manado and Tarakan, Indonesia; (ii) the Federal Territory of Labuan and Miri, Malaysia; and (iii) Puerto Princesa and General Santos, Philippines. We are encouraged by the increased number of airlines interested to service the BIMPEAGA points. We directed our Transport and Tourism Ministers to undertake collaborative actions to ensure the sustainability of the current routes and also ensuring that more new subregional air connections are established in 2008.
5. We urged our Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) agencies to continue strengthening their cooperation in improving border formalities in the following priority pilot ports and border crossings: (i) General Santos, Philippines – Bitung, Indonesia; (ii) Zamboanga, Philippines – Sandakan, Malaysia; (iii) Muara, Brunei Darussalam – Labuan, Malaysia; and (iv) Entikong, Indonesia – Tebedu, Malaysia. We noted the conduct of the 1st Heads of Customs meeting and we urged the heads of Immigration, Quarantine and Security to organize similar meetings. The heads of the CIQS agencies should streamline and harmonize ports and border formalities in 2008.
6. We welcomed the launching of the joint promotion and marketing programs and the successful conduct of the 3rd BIMP-EAGA Travel Exchange in Kuching, Sarawak on 1 – 4 November 2007. With the expansion of transport connectivity, we tasked our Tourism Ministers to generate worldwide attention on BIMP-EAGA as a single tourism destination beginning in 2008.
7. We acknowledged that attaining sustainable development and addressing climate change remains one of the biggest challenges of the global community. We commended the signing of the Declaration of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative to be the basis for HoB development. We welcomed the progress in the implementation of the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) program and urged relevant agencies to support the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. We directed our officials to adopt the policy that will make the tuna industry realize that they must share in the social and ecological costs of taking care of tuna spawning grounds in the Coral Triangle. In preparing the HoB project documents and in implementing the SSME program, we tasked the relevant Ministers to work together to ensure that the local community stands to benefit from the vast economic potential. We took note that Indonesia will host the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali in December 2007 and reaffirmed our commitment to environmental sustainability. We agree that the Conference can elevate these BIMP-EAGA initiatives to the international level.
8. We endorsed the recommendation by the BIMP-EAGA Ministers to adopt the Economic Corridor concept, which will give priority to areas with greater economic activities and connectivity. We shared the optimism that the proposed BIMP-EAGA Economic Corridors will enable the rapid convergence of transport, economic and social initiatives and programs with the establishment of a network of special economic zones to be worked out by the relevant authorities. We, likewise recognized that the BIMP-EAGA is in itself an Economic Corridor within the ASEAN region.
9. We will continue to support the private sector, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by creating business opportunities that will increase employment particularly in areas like eco-tourism and agro-industry including encouraging the creation of joint venture fishing companies of member countries. In addition, we will continue to support private sectors and its institutions by improving connectivity, facilitating trade, strengthening industry value chains, and by encouraging the active participation of the local governments in creating opportunities for increased trade, tourism and investment in BIMP-EAGA. We urged the private sector and its institutions to seize and translate the opportunities created from the new initiatives. We also agreed to explore the possibility of setting up of a BIMP EAGA Business Advisory Council (BEBAC).
10. We welcomed the enthusiasm of our local governments to effectively contribute to the realization of the social and economic development goals of the BIMP-EAGA cooperation. We directed the local governments and private sector to enhance their coordination and cooperation to ensure a more conducive environment for business growth and development.
11. We welcomed the efforts undertaken to establish sub-regional value chains in the (i) oil palm industry; (ii) seaweeds industry; (iii) tourism; and (iv) halal poultry industry. This will strengthen coordination of these industries by national and local government institutions to enable them to respond swiftly to private sectors’ requirements.
12. Recognizing the role of the BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Center (BIMP-FC) in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the BIMP-EAGA Roadmap programs and projects, we urged our Senior Officials to expedite its legalization. We also reaffirmed our commitment to improve our respective in-country institutions to further strengthen coordination at the sub-regional level.
13. We welcomed the formulation of the BIMP-EAGA Communications Strategy and we enjoined all BIMP-EAGA stakeholders especially the BIMP-EAGA Media and Communicators Associations (BEMCA) and institutions to actively participate in the implementation of information dissemination activities.
14. We are pleased to note the expanding collaboration with the Northern Territory of Australia, particularly in human resources development and capacity building. We urge the BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials to finalize the Framework of Cooperation with China as BIMP-EAGA’s development partner. This will pave the way for further enhancement of trade and investment between BIMP-EAGA and China.
15. We directed the ASEAN Secretariat to further strengthen its support to BIMP-EAGA through various meetings and forums to high-profile BIMP-EAGA with the region’s dialogue and development partners, provide advice and guidance in aligning the BIMP-EAGA development agenda with the ASEAN Economic Community Initiatives and help mobilize knowledge, technical and financial resources.
16. We expressed grateful appreciation to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its continued confidence in the BIMP-EAGA cooperation initiatives and for its increasing technical and financial support in the BIMP-EAGA cooperation initiatives especially in the development of strategic sectors including transport connectivity, energy development, trade facilitation, environment management, and institutional strengthening. We requested ADB to increase its support for private sector development, capacity building of sub-regional institutions including local governments, and in mobilizing resources for the implementation of the BIMP-EAGA Roadmap.
17. We thanked the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) for their continued technical and financial support in BIMP-EAGA activities. We urged GTZ to continue to support the implementation of the action plans for industry value chains, provide capacity building support for local governments, BIMP-FC and BEBC and assist in pilot-testing of ASEAN trade facilitation initiatives in BIMP-EAGA
18. We also thanked the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through the East ASEAN Initiative (EAI) and in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat for developing the five (5) pilot projects in Southern Philippines and Eastern Indonesia for the next 18 months. We expect for this initiative to be replicated in other areas in BIMP-EAGA.
19. We finally emphasized the need to ensure that all stakeholders are actively involved in the pursuit of the objectives of BIMP EAGA
20. We expressed our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Governments of Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore for the warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made in the conduct of the Fourth BIMP-EAGA Summit.